You aren't just buying a novel. You're buying an experience. Buy Escape from the Village in print or electronic form from these vendors and others:


Escape from the Village is an homage to true friendship which can sustain the human spirit even against physical and spiritual torture. It is a touching love story like no other.”
—Wendy McElroy

“ enjoyable and edifying read. The characters and their problems were easy to empathize with.... I think Chris Baker has a fine first outing here, and hope to see more from him in the future.”
—Thomas Knapp

This is the official web site of Chris Baker's debut novel, Escape from the Village. This page answers some questions about this thrilling story. Thank you for visiting, and all of us at the Austin 2222 Press hope you enjoy Escape from the Village. You can experience the first chapter here. A list of all e-book vendors around the world is here. If you want a print version, go here.

Questions and Answers:

How long is Escape from the Village?

Is a print version of the book available?

How do I obtain a review copy of Escape from the Village?

Are there other sites of interest?

What if I don't have an e-reader?

Is Escape from the Village available in languages other than English?

What is the ISBN? What other numbers identify the book?

How can I promote this wonderful novel?

How can I connect with the author?

Where can I read the first chapter?

It's a short book:

Including headers and front matter, the print version of Escape from the Village contains 65,262 words. Google Play gives it a page count of 156, while Amazon estimates 218 pages. The first chapter has 2,385 words and is slightly above the average chapter length, and you can read it here. So, if you multiply the time it takes to read the first chapter by 32 (or 30 if it's easier), you'll have a high estimate of how long it will take you to read the whole novel.

According to this site, novels of comparable length include The Scarlet Letter (63,604), The Color Purple (66,556), and The Martian Chronicles (64,768). It's longer than A Separate Peace (56,787) and Lord of the Flies (59,900). It's shorter than The Catcher in the Rye (73,404) and The Picture of Dorian Gray (78,462).

The print version of the story is 232 pages. The front matter and back matter makes the entire book 244 pages.

Yes, it's available in paperback:

The paperback version is available in print-on-demand format. You can also buy it at a major book store if you don't want to buy on-line or want to pay cash. The ISBNs for the print edition are 978-1-4943-5063-5 (13-digit) and 1-4943-5063-7 (10-digit). A full-service book seller will be able to find Escape from the Village using one or both numbers. Simply entering either number into Google without hyphens will also give you a list of book sellers.

It is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books a Million. You can also get it from Powell's, Tattered Cover, and Book People.

Give the book seller several weeks to deliver it after ordering it. While return policies vary, most print-on-demands are non-returnable.

There are no plans for a hard-back book.

We're happy to send out review copies:

The Austin 2222 Press has already sent out review copies to people who work for magazines or write popular blogs. Send e-mail to escape(at)chrisbaker(dot)net if you would like a review copy. The formats are a mobi file (Amazon), an epub file (Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Google), or a PDF file. We can also distribute free copies through Google or Smashwords if you have an account with them.

The epub file is about 700 kilobytes. The mobi file is over two megabytes. The PDF file is about 900 kilobytes.

Please tell us where your review will appear, whether it be a blog, magazine, newspaper, or other web site. Please provide a link.

Other sites of interest for the book include:



You can read it on your computer or your smart phone.

You can read Escape from the Village on many devices. If you have a smartphone or a computer, you can download many e-reader applications. You can have multiple readers on the same device, and almost all of the applications are totally FREE.

  If you buy from Amazon, you can download these free Kindle apps: Mac OS 10.6 and aboveWindows 8Windows XP, Vista, and 7iPhoneAndroid-based phonesWindows Phone 7, or Blackberry. You can also use the Kindle Cloud Reader from your favorite web browser.

  If you buy from Barnes and Noble, you can download these free Nook apps: iPhoneAndroid-based phones, and: Windows 8 phones and PC. Regrettably, Barnes and Noble has discontinued apps for computers with MacOS and with Windows 7 and earlier. You can also read the books in your web browser. Go to My Nook and then click on the book in your library.

  If you buy from Google, you can use the Google Reader from your web browser. The free Google Books reader can be downloaded from the Google Play Store for Droid-based phones and from the Apple Store for iPhone. Google has instructions for reading books offline here.

  If you buy from Kobo, you can download these free Kobo apps: Mac and Windows, iPhone, Android-based phones, and Blackberry. You can also use the Kobo Instant Reader from your web browser.

      Calibre is a donation-ware program which allows you to organize all your e-books. It is one of the few options available if you use Linux on your personal system. It is available for Windows XP, 7, and 8 32-bit, Windows 7 and 8 64-bit, Linux, and Mac OS 10.5 and above. You can also use Calibre if you buy from Smashwords, since they do not make an e-reader.

Escape from the Village is currently available in English:

If you would like to do a translation, please contact the Austin 2222 Press. The target language must be your first language, and you should live or have lived where the language is spoken. Please tell us about your translation experience and any other writing and editorial experience you have. You must also translate directly from the English original.

For example, if you want to do a Spanish translation, Spanish must be your first language. You should also live or have lived in a place where Spanish is the predominant language (such as Mexico, Spain, Argentina, Paraguay, etc.)

These numbers can also be used to find Escape from the Village:

The ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a 13-digit number (transitioning from the previous standard of 10) used by booksellers around the world. The ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) has ten characters (letters and numerals) and works on all Amazon sites around the world.

ISBN for Smashwords edition (includes all vendors that sell it, primarily Apple): 978-1-310-24401-8
ISBN for print edition: 978-1-4943-5063-5 (13 digits) or 1-4943-5063-7 (10 digits)
ASIN for all Amazon sites: B00FPGO31G

Simply entering these numbers (without hyphens) into Google or another search engine is another way to find the book.

There are many ways to help the author sell books:

Write a review and post it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Google, Kobo, or Smashwords. Another excellent place to post a review is Goodreads. On some sites, you can simply give the book a rating. Reviews from an "Amazon verified purchase" increase the book's visibility on Amazon. You can also submit a review to magazines, web sites, publications, and even the New York Times Book Review (the gold standard of book reviews). Some of them will even pay you to write a book review. And you can cut and paste your review on several sites if you want. If you only want to post your review in one place, post it where you bought it.

If you prefer talking to writing, you can post a video review on a site like YouTube, Vimeo, or Dailymotion.

Go here to learn how to obtain a free copy for review. Thank you. Please let us know about your review, as we may want to share it with others.

You can connect with Chris Baker here:

web site:

e-mail: escape(at)chrisbaker(dot)net

  Amazon author page

  Goodreads author page

  Smashwords author page

  Twitter: @cbakerauthor

Chapter 1

Visual Girl Appears in a Movie

"Let's go, Auditory Boy," I said to P-71, punching his shoulder lightly.

"Okay, Visual Girl," he said, tapping my shoulder.

I had been calling him Auditory Boy for years, and he had been calling me Visual Girl for almost as long. It was because he made music, and I drew pictures.

P-71 and I had been going to the house at the west end of the village for as long as we could remember--at least seven years. When we started going there, we were about a meter tall and about sixteen kilograms. The doorknobs were at the level of our eyes, and we could just reach the light switches. We had just learned to read and found a lot of fun books there.

P-71 had straight brown hair and big gray eyes. His face was square, and his eyebrows were bushy and ran together. His lips were small and light.

I had brown hair and brown eyes. My hair came down to the middle of my back, although I could have had it cut if I'd wanted. My face was more narrow than P-71's, and my chin was more prominent.

There were 260 citizens in the village, and we all wore the same clothing. It was a beige uniform, consisting of a long-sleeve pullover shirt with long pants. The shoes and socks were gray. The number was on the back and on the right side of the front--it was blue in both places. Immediately people could tell he was P-71 and I was C-36.

We were now about a meter and a half tall and about thirty-five kilograms. We could reach the light switches easily. The doorknobs were at the level of our elbows.

We had just eaten lunch from 12:00 to 13:00. We had our usual two free hours. The time was officially set aside for us to do schoolwork, but we had already finished ours.

Our walk to the house took five minutes. It was four hundred meters, the same length as the oval track where we sometimes ran. We walked out of the dining room and out onto an asphalt path. The path was wide enough that we could stand side-by-side. It was well maintained with cut green grass on each side.

The sun was shining brightly, and we saw several beautiful birds. Sometimes, P-71 would sing or whistle with them; and they seemed to be listening to him. He often claimed he sang their songs, and they sang his.

I preferred drawing the birds. I wondered if the birds could have recognized the pictures I had drawn.

After a quarter of the way into our walk, the path was not maintained. It was cracking and falling apart and not much different from dirt. Half of the walk was on this part of the path.

"C, guess what happened while I was eating," P-71 said, smiling emphatically.

"What?" I asked.

"My last little tooth came out." He stuck his finger in his mouth. "All my primary teeth are gone."

"Are you sure about that, P? Did you tell a monitor?"

"I showed it to the monitor. She said it was my last one. They also said I had two left at my last checkup, and this is the second one I've lost since then."

"They said I had three left at my last checkup. I've lost two teeth since then, so I still have one left."

"Yes, that leaves one."

"They say we will get four more molars in the back of our mouths next year," I said. "And we'll get four more in about five or six years. Those ones will be the last ones."

"And we'll end up with thirty-two teeth."

"Well, P, you've lost all your primary teeth. You win," I said, patting his back. "Maybe I will draw a picture of teeth today."

"Whatever you draw, it will be wondrous, Visual Girl. Looking at what you do is a joy."

"Listening to your music is a joy, Auditory Boy. I enjoy listening to you play music on the piano and on the computer."

For the final quarter of our walk, the path was well-maintained asphalt again. It was five times wider than before. The grass was well kept. The house was now a hundred meters away.

The house was huge, as big as any building in the village and definitely bigger than the basketball court. There were four floors, and it was white on all sides. We could only see two sides of the house, and there were sixteen windows on those two sides.

It may have had other doors, but there was only one door that we could enter. The other sides of the house were enclosed by a fence.

There were two other buildings in the area. We couldn't get into either of them. One was a concrete-block building and looked like some type of storage unit. The other was a smaller house about half the size of the other one.

We walked up five steps to the porch on the front of the house. When we got to the door, we noticed T-97 holding a camera with his right hand. He was focused on us and must have been recording us the whole time. We were standing by the door, while T-97 was six meters away on the asphalt.

T-97 was a boy with blond hair, blue eyes, and a round face. His four front teeth also appeared to be too large for his mouth. He was a little taller than we were. He wore the same beige uniform, except it said T-97 in blue on the front right side and the back side.

"You are not supposed to go in there!" shouted T-97, pointing at us with his free hand. "It's not safe for any citizen to go in there. It's dangerous."

"What's it to you?" I asked, punching the air. "How's this any of your business, T-97?"

"I just told you, C-36," T-97 said. He stood still and held the camera at his side. "It's not safe for you to go in there. It's against the law."

"Why do you care, T-97?" asked P-71, taking two steps toward him. "What does it matter to you?"

"If you go in there, you're breaking the law," T-97 repeated. "We can't have citizens breaking the law whenever they please. We all know you two go in the house all the time. Yet you never get in trouble for it."

"Don't admit anything to him," whispered P-71, holding his hand to my ear. "Lie if you have to."

"It's not nice to whisper," T-97 said, keeping his eyes on us. "I've already recorded you two walking here. If you go in, I'll record that as well. I'll tell the monitors you come here and show them this video. They'll have to believe me."

"He has a point," P-71 whispered. "Lots of citizens have followed us. Nobody has recorded us."

It had been about two years since anyone had followed us to the house. T-97 had also gotten in trouble for following us about five years ago. He stopped speaking to us at the time and now only spoke to us when he had to.

"Where did you get the camera?" asked P-71, pointing at it.

"Not important," T-97 said. "Why do you two think you don't have to follow the rules that everyone else follows?"

"You're going to have to get back there before we do," I said, punching the air again. "What happens if you don't get back there first?"

"I already have a head start on you," T-97 said, turning his body toward the village. "And you know I can run faster than either of you."

"He's right about that," I said, looking toward the house. "Let's go in, and do what we planned to do."

"But we should still try," P-71 said.

He started running down the steps. I followed. T-97 took off running east, back into the center of the village. We ran for about a minute before we gave up. We slowly walked back to the house.

"I think we're in trouble," he said with a worried look, holding his hands to his chest. "Now they'll know we come here."

"If it's going to be our last time, then let's have fun," I said, smiling. "Let's go inside. And don't act guilty. We aren't doing anything wrong."

We went inside the house. P-71 stayed on the main floor in the room with the piano and computer. I went upstairs and worked on some of my art. We had seen this kind of trouble before. Still, it was different this time. T-97 would have proof we had been to the house.

We didn't hurt anybody by going to the house. What was it to them if we did? They just didn't like that we were doing they couldn't do.

In the house, there was artwork all over the walls. I had created a lot of it. We didn't know who had created the rest of it. It was people, animals, buildings, mountains, and other things.

Before we went back to the village, we compared our creations in the music room. I had drawn a picture of a couple of birds with oversized teeth. One was red, and the other was blue. P-71 played a tune on the piano for me. He also recorded all his music on the computer. I kept many drawings on the walls of the art room.

At 14:55, P-71 and I walked back to the center of the village. We arrived at our classroom, and Monitor 28184 came to see us. T-97 was with him. They approached us before we entered the room.

The monitors had the job of watching and teaching all the citizens. They had five-digit numbers on their uniforms, so there could have been 100,000 of them. They were boys and girls, just like the citizens of the village.

The monitors wore gray uniforms with short-sleeve shirts. There was one red star on the left side of the chest. On the right side was the monitor's number, also red. The number was also on the back. We simply addressed them as monitor. With the exception of different clothing, the monitors looked like all the other citizens in the village.

"Citizen C-36 and Citizen P-71, I must speak to you," Monitor 28184 said. "Citizen T-97 claims you were at the forbidden house. Come with us to the meeting room."

We walked into a meeting room and sat down at a gray round table that had six chairs. The monitor hooked up the camera to a projector. The wall was white, and the floor was gray carpet. The monitor pushed a button that made the screen come down.

"Citizen T-97," the monitor said, with his arms folded on his chest, "you saw Citizen C-36 and Citizen P-71 at the house. You followed them and recorded them. Is that correct?"

"Yes, Monitor, they were there," T-97 said, smiling. "It's all on the camera."

"I have hooked everything up, Citizen T-97," he ordered. "Play the video."

The monitor stood by the door with a blank look on his face and his arms still folded.

T-97 pressed a button on the camera, and the video started. We saw our backs on the screen. The blue numbers on the backs of our beige uniforms were easy to read. The two citizens were definitely P-71 and I. It had no sound and showed us walking for about five seconds in the direction of the house. Yes, T-97 had caught us on video.

Then, the video cut to something else. It was just a shot of citizens playing on the athletic field. T-97's jaw dropped. P-71 and I just looked at each other, not knowing what to think. Three minutes later, the video was just blank.

We sat quietly. It was as if we were waiting for someone else to break the silence. We all had something to say, but nobody wanted to go first.

"What is the meaning of this, Citizen T-97?" asked the monitor, with the same facial expression and arms still folded.

"I... I don't know, Monitor," T-97 said. "I... I know I recorded them. I played the video back several times on the camera."

"You went to the house, Citizen T-97," the monitor said. "You are not supposed to go there. You went there before and were told not to go there."

"Monitor, I know I'm not supposed to go there," T-97 said with a frustrated look. "I didn't go in the house. I just followed them and recorded them. I wanted to prove they go there, Monitor."

"Who gave you permission to use the camera, Citizen T-97?"

"Nobody did, Monitor," T-97 said, looking down. "I just took it from the cabinet. I didn't think anyone would miss it."

"You are not supposed to use the equipment without supervision. Did you try to get permission before you just took it, Citizen T-97?"

"I did not, Monitor."

"You used the equipment without permission, Citizen T-97. You went to the house. You have wasted my time with these false accusations. What do you have to say for yourself?"

"They were there, Monitor," T-97 said, looking up.

"Nothing indicates they were there, Citizen T-97. We know when citizens of the village go there. You went there."

"I know I was there, Monitor," said T-97, raising his arm and pointing toward us. "I wanted to prove they were there."

"Calm down, Citizen T-97," said the monitor, still showing no expression or gestures. "We know you were there. We know when citizens go there."

"They were there, Monitor. They go there every day."

"Citizen C-36 and Citizen P-71, you are excused from this meeting," Monitor 28184 said.

"Return to your class."

The monitor finally unfolded his arms and opened the door for us. We walked out.

"Thank you, Monitor," we both said.

Do you want to know what happens to Auditory Boy and Visual Girl? Just why are they allowed to go to the house? And what happened to T-97's video? If you want to know more, then buy Escape from the Village.

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